Helmut Marko questions legality of Red Bull-esque Aston Martin AMR23

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso puts in the laps in the Aston Martin AMR23. Bahrain February 2023

Spanish driver Fernando Alonso puts in the laps in the Aston Martin AMR23. Bahrain February 2023

Having previously stated Aston Martin’s former Red Bull crew “‘obviously have a good memory”, Helmut Marko has now questioned whether there’s more behind the Red Bull styled AMR23.

Over the past two years Red Bull have lost key members to Aston Martin, most notably Andrew Alessi and Dan Fallows who had been a part of Red Bull’s design team.

This raised eyebrows when Aston Martin put out on a heavily revised car last season, one that bore a striking resemblance to the Red Bull RB18.

Red Bull questioned this but the FIA found there was nothing untoward and the IP for the AMR22 was all Aston Martin’s, the team saying they in fact began working on the B-spec design back in 2021 before Fallows moved over.

But with this year’s AMR23 once again carrying a strong likeness to the Red Bull F1 car, Marko is again asking questions.

“It’s true that what Fallows had in his head cannot be erased,” the Red Bull motorsport advisor told Servus TV.

“Copying the focus is not prohibited, but can you copy in such detail without having documentation of our car?

“We had three Red Bulls on the podium, only the last one with a different engine.”

Marko’s comments came in the wake of the Bahrain Grand Prix, a race in which Fernando Alonso joined Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez on the podium having finished third.

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Marko was nonetheless impressed with Alonso’s performance on the day, the Spaniard overtaking both Mercedes drivers as well as Carlos Sainz during the 57-lap race as he recovered having lost places on the opening lap.

“I said it before the race: Alonso will be third,” said Marko.

“His fight with Hamilton was incredible. It was a tough duel, but fair. Really old school. If Fernando had started further up, he would surely have been a threat to us.”

Marko isn’t the only one calling the AMR23 the third Red Bull with Perez joking on the podium that “it’s nice to see three Red Bull cars on the podium.”

That’s a sentiment echoed by Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

“Based on one race, you’d have to say they were the second strongest here,” he said.

“They’ve obviously done a good job over the winter. They say imitation is the biggest form of flattery and, you know, it’s good to see the old car doing so well.”